Majority of Americans Fear Soaring Inflation Will Impact Spending Power in Retirement: Poll
Majority of Americans Fear Soaring Inflation Will Impact Spending Power in Retirement: Poll

By Katabella Roberts

The majority of Americans aged 45 to 75 are concerned that soaring levels of inflation may reduce their spending power when it comes to retirement, according to a new survey.

The Protected Retirement Income and Planning Study by CANNEX and the Alliance for Lifetime Income was published on July 11 and conducted among 2,025 American consumers aged 45 to 75, and 514 financial professionals, between April and May 2022.

Financial professionals that were surveyed conduct retirement planning for individual clients.

Specifically, the survey found that 81 percent of Americans aged between 45 to 75 said they were worried that high inflation would reduce their spending power in retirement, while 79 percent fear that an economic recession could impact on their retirement income.

The survey comes as inflation climbed 8.6 percent in May from a year ago, marking the biggest 12-month increase since the period ending December 1981.

As a result, the survey found that 60 percent of consumers reported reducing their spending because of inflation.

Those fears regarding inflation, market volatility, and a potential recession are also being felt among financial professionals too, with the survey finding that nearly 78 percent have changed their approach to retirement planning in the last year, of which 82 percent cited soaring inflation as a reason behind making the change.

“Against the backdrop of record inflation, a bear market and global economic uncertainty, the misalignment in what financial professionals are relying on to create retirement income, and what clients are looking for, is a problem,” said Jean Statler, CEO of the Alliance for Lifetime Income.

Mounting Costs

“Ninety-two percent of financial professionals are worried about inflation reducing client spending power, and so it’s good that many of them have changed their retirement planning approach this past year. But for those financial professionals who tell their clients to simply ride out the risks and are not considering protected income options like annuities, don’t be surprised if you find them going elsewhere for advice.”

The latest survey comes as fears of an impending U.S. recession continue to mount while everything from household essentials to food have increased substantially in recent months as global economies gradually reemerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drives up prices worldwide.

Those costs are being felt exponentially when it comes to gasoline prices, which currently stand at a national average price of $4.655 in the United States, having surpassed $5 highs in mid-June, according to AAA.

This time last year, the national average price of a liter of gasoline was $3.147.

In an effort to prevent an economic downturn from happening, the Federal Reserve in mid-June raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.75 percentage points, marking the biggest hike since 1994.

Despite fears of an upcoming economic downturn being on the horizon, Biden administration officials have insisted that the United States can avoid a full-blown recession.

On Sunday, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told ABC’s “This Week” that the U.S. economy is fundamentally “very strong” and that she does not “see any reason to think that we will have a serious recession.”

“We recovered all the jobs since the pandemic. People’s household balance sheets are strong. Companies are doing well. Companies are hiring. Companies are growing,” Raimondo said.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius on Monday reiterated the investment bank’s view that the U.S. economy faces a 30 percent chance of a recession in 2023.

Bill Pan contributed to this report.

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